Saturday, February 27, 2010

Queen Stitches...the journey continues....

Good day everyone!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has left a comment or has visited recently.  I was completely overwhelmed when I saw that I had 24 comments on Sunday's post.  Now, I realize that for most people, 24 comments is a low number, but the highest I have ever had was 9.  I am still rather new to blogging but I can honestly say that I have been grinning from ear to ear all week! Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments.  I have been trying to respond to everyone, but I am not sure that the emails sent properly.  I am still trying to figure out how exactly to respond to email notification comments.  If you did not get an email, I am sorry!  I might just try and post the emails as comments but please know that I did "respond!" 

Most of you sympathized with my queen stitch dilemma, but some of you said that you enjoyed queen stitches.  So, I guess there is hope!  One of my fellow Richmond Sampler classmates even found me a left a lovely comment.  Thank you, Susan!  I hope to see you back here soon...and yes, you will see me next year at the Gathering!

I have been very busy this week with work and school.  I had class today for EIGHT HOURS!  However, when there are a few free moments I am happily stitching on Richmond Sampler.  I stitched part of the border outline and figured that I had better start on the dreaded queen stitches.  At night when I was trying to sleep, when I was driving, and even when I was teaching, I was envisioning how I would stitch a queen stitch.  I kept visualizing until I felt that I could comfortably stitch a queenie and then Monday I just did it.  I stitched nine whole queenies!  I was so proud and they were so pretty...but boy did they take some time!  There is a real postitive to stitching queenies though, I don't really need a chart.  Once I make the outline, I can take my linen, some thread, plant myself on the couch and stitch away.  That is what I am really liking about queenies!  Honestly, if it were not for everyone encouraging me that I could master queen stitches, I would have taken the easy road and just stitched cross stitches instead.  Thank you for your encouragement...these queen stitches are for you!  I scanned the piece hoping to get a better view of the queenies...not sure that it worked.  Anyway, the inside of the border and part of the flower basket are queenies.  Here is a picture of what I have gotten done so far.  If you want a closer view, just click on the picture and you should be able to see the stitches better...the border is going to be gorgeous!

Richmond Sampler has been the apple of my eye lately but I should really pick up Psalm 23 soon.  I had hoped to get it done by the end of February, so now I guess I will shoot for March.  I have been stitching on and off for many years but in the past have only worked on one thing at a time.  Lately, I have decided to get a rotation going, however, I feel like I have stitching Attention Deficit Disorder.   I guess that I should not stress about it especially since stitching is my stress reliever!  What does everyone else do?  Any ideas?  Is there a cure for stitching ADD?

Well, I guess I should scuttle off and finish my weekly assignments.  I only have 9 more weeks to go and then I will be finished with these assignments...thank goodness.  I have learned a lot through this teaching licensure program and I would not trade it for the world, but I will not miss having to write three research papers a week.   Besides, it takes up my precious stitching time!  Till next time everyone...Happy Stitching!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Lovely Gathering...

Hello everyone!

Thank you to all of my lovely blogger friends for your comments about my Gathering of Embroiderers trip!  Everyone wished me a wonderful time and I am here to tell you that I had a fabulous time!  Hubby and I left for Williamburg on Thursday around noon and arrived in time to check in to our hotel and quickly check out a most wonderful needlework shop, Haus Tirol.  I walked in and thought that I had died and gone to heaven!  Unfortunately, we got there around 4:00 and they close at 4:30 so I had to do some major browsing and quickly!  The ladies there were so nice and everything was gorgeous.  If you are ever in Williamsburg, VA, then you must go to Haus Tirol.  They have been in business for over 30 years and you won't be disappointed. 

We had dinner at a great little Thai restaurant that we found this past summer and headed back to our hotel where I checked in with the folks of  "The Gathering."  I got my name badge and a lovely "Gathering of Embroiderers" Pin as well as the schedule of classes and a listing of all of the people who would be in attendance along with their addresses and emails.  It was interesting to see where everyone was from.  There were people in attendance from California, Washington State, Canada, Texas, Wyoming....all over the US!    The hotel was wonderful and the rooms were spacious and the beds were comfortable.  Honestly, when I went to bed Thursday night, I could not sleep.  I was so excited about my class the next day!

Friday morning dawned and I was up at 6:00 am.  Class did not start until 8:30 but I just had to get moving!  Ate a good breakfast and then went to the meeting room where the class was being held.  There right on the front table was a stitched model of the Richmond Sampler and here is a picture. 

It was absolutely gorgeous!  As I stood drooling over the piece, the organizer of the Gathering, Jeannine came up to me and introduced herself.  She was the nicest, most welcoming person and she made me feel right at home.  She introduced me to the instructor for the Richmond Sampler class, Margriet Hogue from The Essamplaire.  I was so excited to meet my first designer and someone who produces such gorgeous reproduction sampler charts!  Jeannine then introduced me to other ladies that were part of the class.  It seemed like everyone knew everyone and it was like a reunion of sorts.  The all made me feel so welcome and any fear that I had was washed away.

We got started and Margriet handed out our linen, threads and charts.  The threads and charts were in this wonderful plastic file...what a great idea!   I had never thought to use those file folders for WIP charts before! 

I opened the file and there were the Au ver Soie silks!  They were so pretty!

Included with the instructions and charts were two life size photographs of the sampler.  What a wonderful thing to have!  Now, as I stitch at home, it is like the model is here with me!

As we got started stitching the flower in the upper left hand corner, I noticed that none of the ladies were using any hoops, q-snaps, or scroll rods.  It was official, I was the rookie coming up to the big leagues.  Every person stitched in hand so they simply rolled up the linen and started stitching.  I have to be honest, I did not want to stand out so I started stitching in hand too...which as some of you know I have been practicing.  Well, needless to say, here it was sink or swim.  I still have not gotten the sewing method, but I did master in hand "poke & pull!"  Moving along from the flower, we start on the border.  This is where it gets interesting. 

The border is almost entirely queen stitches.  I have never done queen stitches.  Little did I know that queen stitches were going to be the bane of my existence.  All of the other stitchers started flying with their queen stitches, I instead, raised my hand and admitted that I had never done a queen stitch before.  Margriet was so helpful but she only knew how to teach queen stitch through the sewing method.  So, I  learned how to queen stitch through the sewing method!  Now if only I could master those darn x's!  Well, I say that I learned...maybe I should say I was shown how.  I am still learning.  I started practicing my queen stitches around 11:00 am.  We broke for lunch at 12:00.  We assembled again at 2:00 and finished at 5:00.  Below is a picture of what I accomplished.  The flowers were stitched in about 1.5 hours while chatting away.  The practice queen stitches, in the olive green at the top are what I accomplished in 3.5 hours in virtual silence because I was concentrating so hard!

As I was struggling with those damnable queen stitches, the other ladies were flying through them.  Margriet was kind enough to remind me not to worry, that I too will master queen stitches.  The jury is still out but I love the Richmond Sampler so much that I will force myself to get them down pat!

There was the most wonderful stitchers boutique set up with vendors and their wares. I was tempted by many, especially the kits from The Essamplaire, but I was good and bought only one chart from Margriet.  It is the Mary Stourt sampler, 1760.  I purchased it because my grandmother's first and middle name is Mary Stuart.  Same pronunciation, different spelling.

I was very disciplined and only bought one more thing...these darling project bags.  The larger bag is for your linen and chart and the smaller bag is for threads.  They were so cute and much better than the old pillowcases that I have been using for my WIP's.  Besides, Richmond Sampler deserves better digs than a pillowcase!

Even though I struggled with the queen stitches, I still had a fabulous time.  Hubby and I drove home after the class was over.  I wish that I could have stayed longer since the Gathering lasts until Sunday, Feb. 28.  Maybe I will be able to stay longer next year because I am definitely going back!  It was so nice to be with fellow stitchers and see and learn new things!  I am still on cloud nine from the experience!  Now I have a wonderful sampler to stitch and through it will be reminded of a wonderful experience.  I hope to work on Richmond the next couple of days so I will try to have progress pics soon.

Again, thank you to everyone for your enthusiasm.  Knowing that I could share with such wonderful people made my trip and the sampler even more special!  What a lucky girl I am to have such great stitching friends in such a wonderful community!  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Progress on Bea...

Hello good friends!

It is COLD and windy here in the Shenandoah.  But at least it is not snowing!  I hope that everyone is nice and warm and happily stitching away while watching the Olympics!  I have a been busy substituting and trying to keep up with my assignments so I must admit that I have not watched many of the events.  But when I do get a few minutes, I like to switch them on and root for the ol' USA!

I thought that I would post a progress pic of Bea.  She is coming along slowly but surely.  After that nasty frogging incident I wanted to put her down for awhile but eventually we made up and I finished the motif that I was working on.  However, I have not been able to spend a lot of time with her the past few days but I think she understands.  Sorry if the pic is kinda dark.  I hope to get a better one when the sun is out!

Tonight I am starting to pack for my trip to Williamsburg and The Gathering of Embroiderers.  I am so excited and I truly appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for me!  I promise to take pics of all the pretties and post them for all to see.  Hubby is coming with me and I think he is looking forward to it too.  Besides, he can shop for my birthday which is coming July!  For those of you who have not seen a picture of the Richmond Sampler that I will be stitching, here it is.  It commemorates the visit of Count Lafayette (Marquis de Lafayette of American Revolutionary fame) to Richmond, Virginia in 1824.  Lafayette stayed with the Randolph family while he visited Richmond.  For those of you who are not familiar with Virginia history, the Randolphs were one of the richest most powerful families in Colonial Virginia and even after Virginia became a state.  They are still a prominent family...true bluebloods!  I am not sure who stitched the sampler but I hope to find out. 

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who has been stopping by and visiting my blog.  Your comments light up my day.  Really, it means so much to have fellow stitchers take an interest in what I do.  I have learned so much through this blogging community!  What a treat to have others share my passion.  Again, thank you and Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Ornament Finish!

Good day everyone!

Once again it is snowing in the Shenandoah.  All of this snow is borderline ridiculous!  I am going to the Gathering of Embrodierers in Williamsburg this weekend and neither snow nor sleet nor freezing rain will keep me from my Richmond Sampler class! 

I am very pleased to share with you my very first ornament finish.  I changed the colors a bit but I like the final product.  The colors called for were two shades of green.  I decided to use a darker green (CC Spinach) for the tree and a burgundy red (DMC something) for the tree stand.  The deer are white and a bit hard to see but I used DMC B5200 so they shine a bit.  This ornament is dedicated to Robin who is the reason I got my butt in gear and got this stitched!  Thanks Robin!

I had planned to have progress pics of my Beatrix Potter SAL today but at 11:00 last night I was on the way to finishing one of the motifs.  Well, lo and behold I found a mistake and set myself to frogging.  Since it is snowing and as soon as I clean the house, I will pick Bea back up and have a progress pic for you soon.  It was funny, as I was stitching Bea last night I thought to myself, "This has been such a joy to stitch so far!  The thread has just glided through the linen and behaved and not knotted up.  The color, Bretheren Blue is so calming..."  then, WHAM!  I found my first big mistake.  So much for being calming!  I guess that I just got too wrapped up in the new season of the Amazing Race.   It was difficult for me last night not to watch the Olympics but I had to watch the Amazing Race.  I figured it was one night and the Olympics will be on for weeks!

I mentioned that I will be attending the Gathering of Embroiderers in Williamsburg this Friday.  I signed up for the Richmond Sampler class which is being taught by Margriet Hogue from The Essamplaire.  Words cannot express how excited I am!  I posted a countdown on my blog page.  I am sorry that the gadget is asking for a donation.  Ignore that donation button.  THAT IS NOT ME!!!  DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY!!!  I guess that is how they can call it "free!"  Anyway, I just thought that it would great fun to countdown.  Hubby and I are leaving to go Williamsburg on Thursday afternoon.  Check in for the Gathering is from 4:30 to 6:30.  Then at 6:30 they open up a stitching room till 8:30 or so.   It will be so much fun meeting other stitchers.  And don't you worry...I will be armed with my camera so I will take pics of all the beautiful things that you know will be there! 

Well, I guess I should go and clean this house.  I guess that it's the least I can do since I am home again today (no school!)  Thank you to everyone for their wonderful comments.  I appreciate them more than you know...they truly make my day! 
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My first ornament

Good day everyone!  It is cold and snowing here in the Shenandoah.  Maybe one day I will be able to tell you that "it is warm and sunny in the Shenanadoah!"  Here's to hoping!  No school, AGAIN.  However, I have been rather productive getting ahead in this weeks assignments and.....drumroll please........I pulled threads and fabric for my very first ornament.  Now, don't think that I did this on my own.  My dear friend Robin has been the driving force behind this new project.  That is what I am loving about find the most amazing stitching friends!  I already had the pattern, JBW designs, "A Very Merry Christmas," so I dug throug some stash and found threads that I *think* will work. 

I plan to start stitching this tomorrow.  I want to put a few more stitches in Beatrix Potter before I put her down again. 

Thank you to all of the wonderful new people that I have met through this blog. You all have inspired me more than you know! 

Robin, I have thoroughly enjoyed your emails and it is nice to find a fellow Virginian Stitcher.  You have gorgeous work and you have inspired me to pick up my first ornament.  Not to mention, I am jealous of your finished project gallery...I want a big one too! :-)

Connie, I am glad to have found another PA Dutch sampler lover!  I am not a Pennsylvanian but I feel related to the PA Dutch.  My ancestors lived in the heart of PA Dutch country centuries ago.  There was little land left, so the headed south to the Shenandoah Valley in VA.  So, I feel connected and like to think that one of my ancestors probably stitched some type of motif sampler.

Karen, I am glad that you like the 23rd Psalm sampler.  It is gorgeous!  I have found another VeraK that I want to stitch, "How Great Thou Art."  That is a much beloved hymn in my means quite a lot and it will be next...just have to find it first!  Maybe we could start a little VeraK SAL!

Margaret from Days of a Sampler Lover has inspired me to start stitching in hand.  I only have the hang of about 1/4 of it!  I've been looking and looking all over the net for tutorials and all that I found was a short video on YouTube showing someone stitching in hand, no tutorial.  Does anybody have any recommendations?  I am dying to figure this out!  The 1/4 that I have figured out, no doubt is much faster than the poke and pull method.  If you know of any books or videos, please let me know!  Just write me at  Oh, and if you just want to email for the heck of it, I would love that too!

Well all...I am off to stitch a little before hubby gets home.  It is his birthday and he asked to go to the gym on his birthday.  He wants me to go with him.  That's love ladies and gentlemen...going with your spouse to the gym because it's his birthday.  Guess it won't hurt.  I think I am starting to get 'stitchers hips!"  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A new project and some progress

Good day everyone!  The snow is coming down here in the Shenandoah.  Weatherman says we should see about 12-16" of snow by Sunday.  Well, nothing to do but watch it come down and use the time to study and stitch! 

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments about my Sara Schultz finish.  You all are so sweet!  Oh, and several of you commented on the quilt pictured with Simon and my new threads.  I wish that I could say that I made it, but alas, I did not.  I bought it in Williamsburg, VA this past summer at the L.L. Bean outlet.  The colors were so pretty, and the price so reasonable that I just had to have it.  I put it on the daybed in my computer/study/office.  The room is the lightest room in the house and it is my little retreat.  It is where I read my blogs, study for school and read my latest novel.  I love it! 

I have been working on several new things lately.  Three things to be exact!  I have started two new projects and picked up one old WIP.  I started the Family Record Sampler and am using roses, pinks, and greens instead of the called for topaz, gold and green.  I have been playing around with it a bit and thought that I would use the varigation in the roses.  However, today I plan to stitch a rose with less varigation and see what I like better.  Here is my progress so far...

I have also joined the Beatrix Potter SAL.  That sampler is so beautiful and I have wanted to stitch it for some time.  I have not gotten terribly far but here is my progress so far.  I am stitching on 32 ct. Antique White and Crescent Colors Bretheren Blue.  If you are interested in joining...please do!  You can click here!  You only have to post progress pics once a month, so it is not an intense SAL. 

Finally, I will show you one of my oldies but goodies.  It is "Psalm 23" by Vera K.  I have stitched another line of verse which is one more than I had!  I think that I *might* try to get this one done by the end of the month.  We shall see.   It is a great stitch to come home to after "one of those days" as a substitute teacher.  Keeps me centered!

Well, I think that is about it!  Thanks for all of you for stopping by and leaving your wonderful comments!  They really do make my day!  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 1, 2010

More threads...

Hello everyone! It is quite cold here in the Shenandoah. Sounds like we are going to get more winter weather tomorrow. At this point, I have seen more snow than grass in the past month...hey, in my opinion if it is going to be blue-blazes cold, then at least snow! Careful what I wish for, right?

My mom called me this afternoon, said she had some errands to run in the town north of us and asked if I wanted to ride along with her. Sure, I figure, it will get me out of the house. Well, somehow we ended up at my LNS, where I picked up more threads for my Family Record Sampler. Originally, I thought to go monochromatic but I decided to add some other colors for depth. Pictured above is what I picked out. I am not sold on the lighter pink, but once I start stitching I think it will be fine.

Now, as I was attempting to snap the threads picture, wouldn't you know someone had to get in on the show?  My cat Simon decided to inspect the threads and give his approval.  He was just too cute...I had to share!  I should have progress pics soon...till next time...Happy Stitching!
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